Almost a year to the day that a Lonoke woman was struck and killed by a vehicle, the Carlisle man charged in the death accepted a plea agreement offered by prosecuting attorney Chuck Graham. It was pieces of a headlight lens left at the scene and detective work by investigators that literally put pieces together that led to an arrest and charge months afterward.
Robert Lee Glover, 51, on Aug. 19 accepted a guilty plea agreement for a felony charge of failure to stop after accident with injury or death in the Aug. 24, 2012 death of Kimberly Perkins, 39.
Glover will serve 72 months supervised probation and pay fines and costs.
According to police reports and the affidavit filed by investigators, the accident occurred at about 9:40 p.m., Aug. 24, on U.S. Highway 70 near Cypress Creek Road, approximately five miles west of Lonoke.
State police investigators were called to the scene of the accident at about 10 p.m. A female, identified as Perkins, was lying in the ditch on the south side of the highway; there were pieces of what appeared to be vehicle headlight lenses in the middle of the highway.
On Aug. 30, a Cause of Death report from the Arkansas State Crime Lab determined Perkins had died of multiple injuries; the manner of death was listed as homicide.
At the scene, Louis Mack, 62, said he and Perkins had run out of gas and she was attempting to flag down a ride to a gas station. Mack said Perkins was struck by a vehicle, which did not stop after striking her; he described the vehicle as appearing to be a dark colored Chevrolet Blazer or Suburban.
The affidavit stated that another driver had passed the area before the accident. That driver, in an interview the next day, said he was traveling east on Highway 70 when a woman “appeared out of nowhere waving a white bag.” The driver reported having to swerve to miss the woman, but did not stop. However, he did call the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office to report the woman standing in the middle of the road.
Using pieces of headlight found in the roadway, and information from a parts supplier, investigators issued a notice that they were seeking a 1999 through 2002 GMC Denali that should have significant damage to the front right side of the vehicle.
On Sept. 1, Glover contacted the state police and stated that he had struck a deer on U.S. Highway 70 at about the same time Perkins was struck. The affidavit later notes that Glover stated that on the evening of Aug. 24, he was driving a GMC Denali on U.S. Highway 70.
A trooper responding to Glover’s report found a gold, 2002 GMC Denali, with “damage to the vehicle was consistent to the type of damage that would have been caused by striking someone.”
The damage included a broken passenger-side headlight assembly, damage to the hood and the passenger side. With Glover’s consent, the vehicle was transported to Arkansas State Police Headquarters - investigators found that the headlight lens pieces found at the scene, “matched the remaining headlight in the vehicle.”
In an interview Sept. 2, Glover recalled that he had been at a River Market restaurant where he consumed about three glasses of wine. He said he left the restaurant at about 7:30 p.m.
Glover said he then stopped at the Bearskin Lake Road residence of a longtime friend, and left at about 9:15 p.m. to return to Carlisle.
Glover said he was in an area where there are fields on both sides of the road when he saw movement on the right side of his vehicle; he struck what he thought was a deer, but he did not stop.
Glover recalled driving to Lonoke where he stopped to wash his car, having driven through an area with large numbers of insects. He said he did not notice any blood on the vehicle but he did notice the damage, which appeared similar to damage from previously striking a deer.
Glover recalled reading the account of the hit-and-run in a newspaper article, “on the Wednesday or Thursday after the crash;” he then contacted investigators.
Investigators described damage to the vehicle that was “consistent with having struck someone.”
Plea and arraignment in Lonoke County Circuit Court was Jan. 22, 2013. The trial, for a felony charge of failure to stop after accident with injury or death, was originally set for April 17-18, but was rescheduled for Sept. 18-19 under Circuit Judge Sandy Huckabee.
Other terms of the Aug. 19 plea agreement include a $2,000 fine, $150 court costs, $20 booking fee, $45 jail support fee, $35 monthly probation fee, $5 a month technical fee, $250 DNA fee, $10 per month installment fee, 120 hours community service to be served within 12 months of sentencing, alcohol screening and treatment, permanent no-contact order, all fines, and with the condition that all costs and fees shall be paid within two years.